Critical Ops is a free-to-play, multiplayer-only, first-person shooter that resembles Counter Strike in a lot of ways. Although it is nice to see an online shooter arrive to mobile that is free of annoying ads or messy free-to-play mechanics, there are a few things that hold Critical Ops back from being a critical hit.
From head to toe, Critical Ops is a no-nonsense game. It has a very sparse menu system that seems designed to get you into a game and stay in it as quickly as possible.
There’s only two game modes in Critical Ops, both of which can be played on any of the handful of maps. The first mode, Deathmatch, is a straightforward team shootout, complete with respawns, while Defuse challenges one team to plant bombs while the other team tries to stop them. In Defuse, no players can respawn until the end of the round, and players have in-game money that they can use shop for their weapon loadouts between rounds and take from round-to-round, provided they survive.
When I say that Critical Ops tries to be as straightforward as possible, that also extends to its free-to-play structure. In the game, all maps and weapons are unlocked from the get-go, leaving only skins for you to earn or pay for through spending credits on cases.
A shoestring operation
While there are a lot of benefits to Critical Ops‘s streamlined design, there are also a number of drawbacks that come with it. With such a small number of maps, game types, and unlock options, there is little to look forward to from playing the game beyond the satisfaction of the shooting mechanics.
This wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing (since, after all, games should be enjoyed for their mechanics), the touch control scheme doesn’t feel quite as easy-to-use as it should. Thankfully, there are some options to tweak how these controls behave to make them feel a little better, but there’s no one configuration that feels great.
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